Meralco rates down in July due to latest govt-ordered refund

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) can expect lower bills this month, with the recent multibillion-peso refund ordered by authorities pulling down July's overall rate.

Meralco announced Monday a downward rate adjustment of ₱0.7067 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), bringing the month's rate to ₱9.7545/kWh.

This means a typical household consuming 200 kWh each month could see a reduction of ₱141 in its electric bill.

Meralco attributed the decrease to the Energy Regulatory Commission's order for the company to refund ₱21.77 billion over the next few months. This is in line with a review by regulators of approved projected rates against actual charges. 

"The immediate implementation of the ERC Decision was able to more than offset the impact of higher generation charge this month to the benefit of our customers," said Meralco head of regulatory management Ronald Valles.

Valles assured the power distributor's rates undergo a review and confirmation process to ensure their fairness and reasonability.

The generation charge rose ₱0.2166/kWh to ₱6.7756/kWh in July, with charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) going up.

WESM charges climbed ₱3.9649/kWh due to tight supply conditions in Luzon, said Meralco.

PSA charges jumped ₱0.3186/kWh with the peso's weak performance. About a third of PSA costs are dollar-denominated according to the company, which also cited the continued uptick in global coal prices.

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) charges fell ₱0.4669/kWh in July, it added.

PSAs account for half of the generation charge, while IPPs and WESM represent 43% and 7% respectively.